Most people don’t realise how much colour demands attention and creates certain feelings within your viewer.
If used effectively, colour has the power to evoke a strong visceral response because it directly effects the viewer’s state of mind. It can be far too easy to be so concerned with lighting, composition, and gesture that you might forget the importance of controlling colour as well. It’s something that you would notice later, when you might realise that you prefer certain photos more than others. These certain images would stand out because of their use of colour.
Believe it or not, colour is actually perceived in our minds before virtually anything else. So it makes sense that we should use colour to our advantage when trying to tell a story. The colour sets the overall mood of your image.
For instance, blues and greens are calming and associated with nature, so if you are shooting for a client such as a yoga studio, you might consider using blue or green to evoke a calming effect instantly. Oranges and yellows create warmth and energy, while red is a colour of power, passion, and love. If you are photographing the cover of a book that centres around romance, you might use red within your photograph. Red is also the heaviest colour visually, so the viewer’s eye will be drawn to anything red in your image—you need to be careful how you use it.
In general, vivid colours create a mood full of energy and excitement, while dull and pastel colours create a soft, sombre mood. Think of the story you would like your image to tell and then choose which colours you could use within your image to tell that story best.
Fashion and Lifestyle Photography is Dixie Dixon’s guide to becoming a stand-out fashion and lifestyle photographer, and succeeding in the commercial world. Dixie is a Nikon brand ambassador and highly successful photographer who loves to share her knowledge and experiences to help you find your vision and realise your potential.